The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species
|Country||Period||Species in Trade||Volume of Trade||Ecological Impact of Trade|
|India||1960s–1980s||Export of 39,502 tonnes 1963–1983, i.e., roughly 1881 tonnes/year, with a peak in 1981||Serious decline of wild frog populations resulted in increase in pests and related increase in pesticide use|
|Bangladesh||1970s–1980s||Export of 7519 tonnes of frogs’ legs 1977–1984, i.e., roughly 1253 tonnes/year||Serious decline of wild frog populations|
|Indonesia||1990s–present (shifting from island to island, as populations become depleted)||Export peak in the 1990s with 5600 tonnes/year, declining to 3800 tonnes in 1992|
Largest supplier to the EU with ~3000 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)
|L. macrodon almost vanished from EU imports, regional declines of other frog species indicated; sharp increase in pesticides since 2002|
|Turkey||1990s–present||Annual exports almost 700 tonnes/year (cf. );|
3rd largest supplier for the EU with ~1593 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)
|Wild frog populations decimated by c. 20% per year; likely extinction in c. 2032 if over-exploitation is not stopped;|
P. caralitanus considered as Endangered
|Albania||2000s–present||4th largest supplier for the EU with ~59 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)||main threats for native frogs are over-exploitation and invasive frog species, introduced for commerce|
|Vietnam||2000s–present||2nd largest supplier for the EU with imports of ~844 tonnes/year (2010–2019) (cf. Figure 1)||Frog farms are continuously restocked with wild-caught individuals|
2. Europe’s Hunger for Frogs’ Legs—A Threat to Biodiversity
3. Essential Considerations for a Sustainable Trade of Frogs’ Legs
- Before implementing a monitored sustainable trade of species and populations, the viability of these must be ensured to afford prescribed numbers for offtake; if necessary, some previously intensively used populations would need to be temporarily suspended from trade.
- Ensure full transparency in trade data and taxonomic certainty in detailed trade records at the species level. This will probably require DNA barcoding of shipments in the trade.
- Identify geographical origin of wild and captive bred frogs to assess impacts on native communities and disease transmission.
- List all trade-relevant species in legal codes and regulations, including the EU wildlife trade regulation 338/97 and in cooperation with exporting countries in CITES Appendix II.
- Promote accurate and scientific population monitoring of harvested species, complying with non-detriment findings (NDFs) of CITES.
- Develop and implement a centralised wildlife trade database for the EU and biosecurity measures along the trade chain to prevent the spread disease.
- Maintain IUCN Red List assessments up to date for trade-relevant species and evaluate them according to the impact that trade may have on harvested populations and species.
- Implement standardised certification schemes for frog farms to avoid negative local and regional ecological impacts.
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Auliya, M.; Altherr, S.; Hughes, A.; Nithart, C.; Ohler, A.; Bickford, D. The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species. Conservation 2023, 3, 53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004
Auliya M, Altherr S, Hughes A, Nithart C, Ohler A, Bickford D. The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species. Conservation. 2023; 3(1):53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004Chicago/Turabian Style
Auliya, Mark, Sandra Altherr, Alice Hughes, Charlotte Nithart, Annemarie Ohler, and David Bickford. 2023. "The European Market Remains the Largest Consumer of Frogs’ Legs from Wild Species" Conservation 3, no. 1: 53-58. https://doi.org/10.3390/conservation3010004